There is still a long road to recovery for Bob Morning after he emerged from a coma following a battle with Covid-19 earlier this year.
The joiner has endured a gruelling rehabilitation since he fell gravely ill after he contracted the deadly virus.
But despite almost nine weeks in a coma in the intensive care ward at Ninewells Hospital, and then having to learn to walk again, the 66-year-old counts himself as one of the “lucky ones”.
Bob was captured on camera by NHS Tayside staff as he left the ICU ward in a clip that was watched by thousands earlier this year, giving hope to many that the deadly virus could be overcome.
As he continues to recover at his home in Douglas he praised the doctors and nurses who saved his life during his 90-day stay in hospital.
“Although my memories of Ninewells are a bit blurred. I knew I wanted to walk out that door at the other end of this,” he said.
“I am one of the lucky ones to be here. There have been many firsts since coming back out of hospital, learning to walk being the first of them.
“The doctors told me I could be looking at anything from a couple of months to a year to make a full recovery.
“I was having to use a wheelchair to get me around, I’ve got stronger as the days and weeks have gone on thanks to the help of the physio.
“It’s been very much been baby steps, I was never off my work before this so it was hard at first to take my time with my recovery.
“One of the first times I came out I literally walked to the end of the drive and had to get a wheelchair a back into the house.
“Now I’m able to walk to the shops and back, I’ve also been able to get back into the car and reversed the car back in the driveway just to see how I got on.
“It was a great feeling just getting back behind the wheel – a few of my friends have joked they’ll be staying off the road once I’m back out.”
However, due to the impact of the virus, Bob recently took the decision to retire from local firm, Intona, after almost 20 service with the company.
Despite taking the decision to hang up his tool belt the tradesman knows there is still plenty of work to be done to get his life back on track.
And his former employer has lent a helping hand to Bob, installing a handrail to help him get upstairs until he is physically fit enough again.
He was also presented with an engraved watch as a thank you for his loyal service with the firm when he officially retired last month.
And his colleagues also had a whip round and gave him a substantial amount of cash to spend however he chooses, with Bob revealing he has his eyes on a cruise.
Bob added: “I know when people have come and seen me they’ve began to appreciate more the impact Covid-19 can have.
“At the start, like many, we thought this was going to be like the flu. The last six months have been incredibly challenging and trying.”
Bob and his wife Joyce have said despite the challenges the pandemic has brought for everyone there has been a number of “positives” that have shone through.
Joyce added: “The community around Douglas, Bob’s work colleagues at Intona, the staff at Ninewells have all been incredible.
“The staff at the hospital phoned me everyday to keep me updated on his condition and it was difficult getting those calls and it was literally hope that you kept sometimes.
“When I knew you were coming to see him this week I looked back at the video of him coming out of the ICU, he looked frail, he lost over four stone over the 90 days.
“He’s been able to put some of the weight back on, we’ve had to adapt some of the house just to make it easier.
“Bob’s employer came in and put a new handrail up just to help him get up the stairs. Day by day he’s getting better but we know there is still a long road ahead.”
Despite the lasting impact this year has had on him, the former Bowbridge barman is hoping to cap it off with a wee dram to see in 2021.
He added: “I’ve not been able to really have a drink, another first I had was my first pint of Guinness in the Anchor in August which was another positive.”